Welcome to the week of LooooooVE

we love this book.

Nope, it’s not Valentine’s Day any more…it’s the week of love in print, specifically in the pages of Rachael Herron’s newest novel, HOW TO KNIT A HEART BACK HOME, set in the fictional town of Cypress Hollow. Both Jillian and I got to read the book early, and we absolutely loved it. So we decided to make big hoopla when the book was finally available to y’all!

This week, we’re celebrating the convergence of knitting and romance with daily giveaways, and peeks into the love-filled mind of author, knitter, spinner, and general all-around nice person, Rachael Herron*. Today, we start with a little getting-to-know-you stuff.

Knitty: Part of each novel you’ve written is focused on an original knitting pattern that you design. Where in the writing process does the sweater design fit in? Do you create the character around the sweater or is the sweater based on the character, or do they grow together as you write the novel?

Rachael: It’s interesting—the way the patterns have grown along with the books is completely organic. If I’m struggling with the book, I’m struggling with the pattern. The man’s raglan gansey in HOW TO KNIT A LOVE SONG went smoothly, as did most of the book writing. The women’s cardigan in HOW TO KNIT A HEART BACK HOME was tricky for such a simple pattern—I had problems solving obvious issues, and had the same issues in the novel. (Plot? What? Collar? Really?) And when the book finally came together, so did that dang collar issue I’d been having [see the sweater below right]. It’s like the writing and knitting paralleled each other exactly.

Rachael in Lucy's sweater...the pattern is in HOW TO KNIT A HEART BACK HOME

It’s fun, though. In the first book, Abigail is a knitwear designer, and the man’s sweater she designs ends up fitting our hero Cade to a T. In the second book, bookstore owner Lucy loves the last sweater her grandmother ever made, loves it so much she’s desperate to recreate the sweater. And when I wear the prototypes of these sweaters, it’s as if they catch some of the spirit of these fictional characters. I find it extremely fun.

K: Can we look forward to a Cypress Hollow pattern book one day? Or a yarn line?

R: I dream sometimes of a collection of Eliza Carpenter patterns. In the new novel, the heroine Lucy finds a rare copy of a precious pattern book (fictional, of course), but it makes me long to have the book for real. Wouldn’t that be lovely? A coffee-table book called Silk Road, with Eliza’s best patterns mixed in with stories of her life…. And then I remember that she’s fictional too, and that I’d have to write it. But maybe someday!

K: Have you planned the whole series out? How many books can we look forward to?

R: I’ve got three more books (for a total of six) planned out at this point. I’m super excited to start working on them! The third is completely done and will be out in October: WISHES AND STITCHES. This one comes with a wedding shawl pattern (designed by Romi, since while I love knitting lace, I’m not up to designing it well yet).

So to start the week off right, how about we give away a copy of this book, eh? I say yes! Jillian says yes! Rachael says yes!

To win, leave a comment to this post by Monday, March 7th at midnight, eastern time. In your comment, tell us what you’d name the novel you’d write that would combine knitting and your favorite genre [romance, horror, mystery, whatever…it’s up to you!]. Just the title, please.  Rachael will pick her favorite and that lucky person will win a copy of HOW TO KNIT A HEART BACK HOME.

Good luck, y’all, and stay tuned…we’ve got prizes every day this week, and lots more Rachael!

*Rachael Herron received her MFA in writing from Mills College, and has been knitting since she was five years old. It’s more than a hobby; it’s a way of life. Rachael lives with her better half in Oakland, California, where they have four cats, three dogs, three spinning wheels, and more instruments than they can count. She is a proud member of the San Francisco Area Romance Writers of America and she is struggling to get better at playing the ukulele.

(189 Posts)

333 thoughts on “Welcome to the week of LooooooVE

  1. Linda

    Reading about knitting is almost as good. Especially when your glasses are right on your nose anyway.

  2. Michelle

    Have not read the books, but now that I know about them am really looking forward to them. I have always thought reading and knitting go hand in hand.

  3. Angelbis

    Looks like a fun book! It is hard to come up with a name for a book I would write. How about: “The Case of the Calico Kitten and the Missing Ball of Yarn”

  4. Janet

    My grandson asked me last night if he could help me ‘Needle’ so:
    Death of a Needling Nuisance.

  5. Mimi

    Would love to have this book. We could all use more romance and cute cardi patterns in our lives!

  6. Jeri

    Steeked! A murder mystery solved by a forensic pathologist who turns to fiber arts to unwind.

  7. Roberta

    How to Knit Love Everyday, Romance (how a woman falls back in love with her everyday life 😉 )

  8. K. Mookini

    I would write the epic spanning generations in “Weave: The strands of Time” about a family that finds their connection through uncovering the mystery within their family history.

  9. Helen

    This is so cool. What a neat idea.

    I Can Sing & Knit at the Same Time – a laugh out loud memoir of a fibercrazed musician.

  10. Pam

    Knots and Frogs — a story of errors and tearing out … hopefully to result in something fabulous

  11. joanna

    The Yarn of Terror Mountain(series)
    Book One:
    The Skein That Shall Not Be Named Must Be Wound

  12. Susan aka paintermom

    I would write a fantasy/romance called Knitting Worlds or a self-help book called Knitting a New Reality.

  13. Coral Bentley

    When I first met my future husband, I was knitting a baby sweater because I loved the yarn, and loved the pattern. Our daughter wore it last week, and the memories flooded in until I thought I’d cry.

  14. Teish

    “Spinning the Stardust” because it would have to be sci-fi. 😉 (What!? Like you never wondered why no one in the future knits!)

  15. Mary Lowry

    I think a novel about the crusades, with a pattern for knitted chain mail would be entertaining! The pattern could translate to the real world by actually being a pattern for a loose sweater or vest.

  16. mollysusie

    I don’t know if I’d go for horror: “Purls in the Blood” or romance: “k2tog, m1”

  17. Amy

    “Nibbles and Needles” would be my romance novel. It would involve a sweet young heroine that runs a knitting cafe and the sexy photographer who she hired to do her marketing… yeah, that’s the ticket! The follow up novel would be “Lens Cap Off” but that’s for a different post.

  18. Kay

    It is funny how the plot and design elements are so intertwined. I bet that is true for lots of people.

  19. Grace

    I like historical fiction a lot and there was a lot of knitting during WWII. I like the Keep Calm and Knit On slogan but I’d like to think of something original.

  20. Tamara

    Not a novel, but I would write “TheAnthropology of Knitting” – I would love to do my masters thesis on knitting!

  21. Crystal

    ‘Spin me a Yarn’
    Adventure – A story teller reliving their life while spinning and knitting.

  22. Anita

    I love YA fantasy with strong female characters — my husband summarizes this as “books with a woman/girl on the cover holding a weapon”. So here is mine:
    Slipped Stitches: Journey Through the Midnight Skein
    (obligatory sequel would of course be Twisted Stitches)

  23. Rachael Herron

    Can I enter myself? Because I have the BEST TITLE that my editor wouldn’t let me use for the 3rd book (which is about doctors):



  24. Emily Dee

    I’ve been working on a story for a couple of years now, about minimum-wage vampires. It would be called “Working Stiffs,” if I ever got it into print.

    One of the characters, who runs a “daytime services,” knits, because you have to have a hobby to fill in the time in between errands and going to the DMV for someone who’s been dead for 2 centuries.

  25. Heather Kinne

    If I wrote a book, it’d be a kids book called, “If You Knit a Dragon a Sweater”. Imagine the yardage you’d need! And the ease you’d need around the spines….

    I love Rachael Herron and can’t wait to read the new book!

  26. apockylypse

    I love reading, and knitting…but when the two mix it’s a dream come true!

    If I wrote a book, it’d have to be a whodunit mystery type (my favorite genre). As for a name? The Case of the Dropped Stitch.

  27. Annie

    Knit novel title: A Pair Makes Three. Love means going the extra mile and knitting an extra sock or mitten for each pair — which is what our heroine’s grandmother did for her as a child, and what she now does for her own children.

  28. Liz Anderson

    I don’t know if there’s a Mommy Blogger category (there should be!) but I see a book called “Why I knit at Drs Appointments, Soccer Sidelines and other Places.” It would be more of an expose….

  29. Red

    “Spinderella” a young adult (or not) novel about a young woman into hip-hop (Salt ‘n’ Pepa’s DJ was named Spinderella). Could have romance, self empowerment, vampires etc. How about she’s a Slayer like Buffy and uses wooden needles as her stakes; modifies circulars into nunchuks…

    by the way, I have a signed copy of her first book, from Stitches East. Would love a signed second book!

  30. Jenni

    Thanks for such a fun review! I second the request for a line of patterns from Cypress Hollow. When I think Cypress Hollow, I do thinK Ysolda Teague. Would that be an awesome duo or what?!

  31. Fleur

    Knit Lightning – this would be something like a scenario as Grease 3. I would love to see John Travolta dancing again 😉 But first I would have to write that book of course!

  32. Knittingdancer (Teresa)

    My book would be about a knitting mystery called “Death by Cashmere”.

  33. joan

    My thought is if I don’t enter I can’t win. I never win but enter I will there is always hope…..

  34. Gwyn

    I think I would have to write some sort of fantasy. It would be really interesting to explore the idea of knitting as a basis for magic!

  35. Lorajean

    I stayed up until 1am this morning finishing the book!!!! So great and so excited there’s a total of six coming out. Hmmmm for a title. Make1 a parenting guide from Toots! Hahahaha that would be hilarious. Or maybe it’s a guide on how to get pregnant.

  36. Jamie Wang

    I recently reread Ernest Gaines’ classic novel, so in its honor I’d choose “A Lesson Before Dyeing”.


  37. Susan

    Here are three, I couldn’t choose only one! I kept thinking of a Nancy Drew approach to book titles for the first two.
    1. The Mystery of the Moebius Scarf
    2. The Case of the Missing Double-Pointed Needle
    3. Zombie Survival Guide: 25 Knitted Hats, Tams, Beanies, and Berets to Protect Your Brains

  38. Karen Bond

    Hmmmmm….. well I have in mind a gothic horror/romance set in Whitby, Yorkshire. The front cover would show the mysterious heroine wearing a hooded cloak in swirling mist on a cliff top. Knit in Rowan Kidsilk Haze of course.. 🙂

  39. TallGrrl

    I’d write a Sci-Fi dramedy with a kick-ass, leather-wearing, heroine who knits on the sly. Not just knits. She knits *lacy* things.
    I don’t know what the title would be, but the Prologue would be titled “I Run With Needles”.

  40. Kym Amaral

    ” Casting Away” would be the title of my book about knitting.

    It would be about three women, and how new beginnings knit their lives together 😉 (and they all love to knit, ofc ! )

  41. Kate

    “Wrapped in Cables” a family story set in the 1930’s – four sisters slowly twisting their lives back together.

  42. Shelley Sears

    how about-Child of Darkness*20+ Knits to Tempt Your Vampire or Tame Your Werewolf*?

  43. Crystl

    The Girl With The Intarsia Tattoo
    The Girl Who Played With Fair Isle
    The Girl Who Knit a Hornets Nest

  44. Amy C

    can’t do just one!
    It Just Felt Wrong…and It Was… (mystery)
    Cain and Cable ( bio)
    Something Steeks (children’s)
    Another Spin on my life (2nd and positive version of bio – hehe)
    SSS or SSK (historical account of the effect of war on women)…oh good one!
    ok,… I will stop, but trust me, there are tons!!!!

  45. Brandi

    I think I would name my book. Knitting: How to avoid getting all Strung up by Life. It would have a Erma Bombeck kind of snarkiness(is that a word).

  46. Carry

    I’m awful at names; for books, animals, pretty much anything. However, my stab at it would be: Mildred and Greta K2Tog.

  47. Lynne

    There are several excellent suggestions above, especially the ones associated with women re-orienting. So to take a cue from Ravelry phrases, I suggest: “Work in Progress” – a narrative about working a project, progressing, making errors, ripping, putting it aside before reworking and learning along the way. Pretty much a description of how a woman’s life unfolds through the years.

  48. Johnnie Boughner

    Purled! You Swine! The Misadventures of a Knitter on a Hog Farm
    (Comic Mystery)
    Because I LOVE a good mystery 🙂

  49. Karen

    Sci fi/fantasy
    Tinking Through Time (a time-travel story in which a knitter gets to tink back through her life and rectify mistakes)

  50. Gina in the SF East Bay

    My book would be a chick lit sort of book with the title “Knitting Interrupted” – for all the reasons that women would like to knit but have to put their knitting aside to take care of all the other things in a woman’s life.

  51. Carol

    I was going to say Knit One, Kill Two but then I realized that was the name of a book already. How about The Knitting Hijacker for to validate all those TSA employees who confiscate knitting needles!

  52. KarenV

    Romance – or women supporting each other (not sure what genre that would be:
    A Stole for the Soul

  53. Gaile

    I’m going the Nancy Drew Mysteries route with “The Curse of the Boyfriend Sweater”.

    I just want to say how much I love Rachael’s first book, which showed me there really is good knitting fiction out there! After reading the few pages that are up on Amazon, I’m tempted to order the new book immediately so it can keep me company while recovering from a minor surgery later this week.

    Oh, and I love the sweater that’s in the new book, definitely something I’d wear too!

  54. Dona B

    Wow, I’d love to read some of these books! Especially “knitting, interrupted” and “knitting the wind”!

    I’ve been reading a lot of craft books recently, and have a newborn, so the book I could see myself writing would be “knit so little – patterns for infants and toddlers.” And essays about making time for creative work with a young child. Mostly because that’s the book I’d like to read right now!

  55. Brittany

    I LOVE Rachael’s work! How to Knit a Love Song was the best (knitty) romance novel I’ve ever read!

  56. MamaKaren

    “Continue in Pattern: How Knitting Kept Me From Losing My Mind and Myself,” a memoir of my journey in raising three special needs children.

  57. Rakusu

    How about “Galileo’s Weave”. It would be the journeys of a knitting starship captain exploring unknown space dimensions.

  58. Erica

    I would love to write a triller and it would be called “Walk carefully with pointy sticks”

  59. Alynda

    I’m always interested in something new to read. As for my knitting/fiction book, it would be called “Floating”…basically a sci-fi with fair isle!

  60. Lizz

    I can’t wait to read the new book.

    My idea for a knitting novel: Fangs or Knitting Needles – a supernatural murder mystery.

  61. Kay

    I’d write, because I have an odd sense of humor
    “By the Twitching of my Klepto Thumbs, Somehting Cashmere This Way Comes” an oddball detective story.
    “War in Pieces!” horror story of alien moths invading Earth.

  62. Deb Joseph

    Wow, I just went to Rachel’s blog and I love it!! I cannot wait to read her books. Thanks for the new literary discovery Knitty.

  63. AndreaW

    I already read and reviewed this book. Read it on my Kindle and just loved it. Would cherish a hard copy for my library. What a wonderful read!

  64. Miriam

    Pirate adventure story: “Yarrrrrrr(n)”

    (wherein one of the pirates knits up an eyepatch, with icord ties, and another comes up with a design for a wooden-leg warmer)

  65. Elise

    I’d combine knitting with a mystery story – maybe it could be called In the Library with a Knitting Needle.

  66. Emily

    I would have a trilogy – “The Fellowship of the Yarn,” “The Two Towers of Stash,” and “The Return of the Knitting.” Fantasy, if you couldn’t tell. 😉

  67. Nicole

    Can never have too many knitting books or books with knitting or books about knitting! I love books!

  68. Rosie

    “Chain of Events” a crochet lesson leads the main character to uncover a deadly secret among a gathering of local fiber enthusiasts!

  69. Leslie Kersten

    The Time of Your Life – How knitting helps people get through difficult situations, or makes the happy ones more joyful.

  70. Judy Scpmoers

    How cool is this idea for a book? Wonder if I wrote a book about diamond mining….. hmmmm….. food for thought lol.

  71. Karen Shannon

    Sounds interesting! I’d like to read Rachael’s books. Now for my idea: Knitting and Science Fiction and Mystery? I’m imagining the problems you’d have controling your yarn in a zero gravity space station! ‘String Theory’ A knitting scientist solving the mystery.

  72. Abby

    I couldn’t decide, so I have two:

    1. “A Yarn Unspun” As an archaeologist delves deeper into the history of knitting, her research takes her from mummy’s socks to dead vikings gloves. She was expecting the tombs, but she wasn’t prepared for the curse of the unraveled sock!

    2. “Knits in Space!” Think pigs in space, but in sweaters :).

  73. Judy H.

    “Repeat from *”
    The genre would be science fiction, where frogging = turning back time.

  74. cheryl

    Would love to win the book. I like the idea of a knitter who is in command of the internet, does lots of research that way, and knits while the pages are loading….

  75. Julie D.

    “String Theory” –an intellectual tale of a knitting physicist who is forced to reevaluate her priorities when she meets a ruggedly handsome sheep farmer.

  76. Tami

    Knitted under cover

    a spy espionage thriller where messages were included secretly in knitting (a la E. Zimmerman, etc.)

  77. Eve

    The Cable Car – a spellbinding tale of suspense set in Italy with many twists and turns in the plot

  78. Kristi ~ Artsea

    Didn’t even blink or have to think to answer this one!

    I’m going to call my book “Purling over the past”

    And my favorite genre is science fiction meets romance… Seriously if you haven’t read any of Diana Gabaldons work, check it out.

    And did you say ukulele!?.. Awesome! I want to learn that AND the bango!!!

  79. Teri S.

    Sadly, I’m not feeling very creative tonight. The best that I can come up with is “Pearl Wise–A Yarn of Love and Knitting.”

  80. Amanda

    “Cabling Towards Disaster”, which I think is a quirky, humorous mystery.
    Or my memoir.

  81. grace

    It will be a novella based on a Mexican folk tale. Previously content with garter stitch, a young mother discovers a new way to wrap the yarn. The villager’s greed to acquire this beautiful fabric eventually leads to the destruction of the poor family. I’ll call it “The Purl”.

  82. June

    I’ve been in stitches, pardon the pun, reading everyone’s entries. (You too Rachael) This would be fun to do every night!
    “Knit Picky About Love” a woman who has been castoff one too many times!

  83. blogless grace

    What a wonderful series! I wait for them eagerly–and perhaps knit Cade’s sweater for my DH. “The Needle in the Couch” an almost perfect murder.

  84. Jackie C.

    EZ and Vampires — a combination of the Jane Austen and Vampires book and The Knitters Almanac, with Elizabeth Zimmerman as the main character, dishing out pithy advice about knitting and life while dispatching creatures of the night with her oaken knitting needles.

  85. Tabitha

    Bummer, I missed the deadline. ohh well, I Would do…the Black Jewels Trilogy, especially Widows Weeds. and I would use lace weight from Malibrigo for it….

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